Materials Science

Microporous mechanics

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Science  20 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6224, pp. 837
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6224.837-a

Truncated rhombic dodecahedral ZIF-8 crystals

PHOTO: SU ET AL. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 137, 5 (29 JANUARY 2015) © 2015 AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY

Metal-organic framework (MOF) materials, in which metal ions or inorganic clusters are linked together by organic ligands to form cages, are highly porous and potentially useful for gas storage. However, repeated cycles of adsorption and desorption mechanically stress these materials and reduce their functionality. With transmission electron microscopy, Su et al. examined the effects of compression on individual micrometer- and submicrometer-scale crystals of a zinc zeolitic-imidazolate framework compound. The presence of methanol in the pores made the crystals much more rigid; they shattered when similar forces would have caused only plastic deformation of the empty framework.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja5113436 (2015).

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